Safety Awareness Program

Effective March 25, 2020

Due to the present situation and the restrictions of the civil authorities to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus and until approved by Bishop Flores there will be no in-person presentations of ‘Protecting God’s Children’ or ‘Keeping the Promise Alive.’  Until CCD resumes there will be no ‘Touching Safety’ lessons provided.  This applies to the 5-year refresher requirements or the initial training that is required to minister to minors.

Debido a la situación actual y las restricciones de las autoridades civiles para evitar la propagación del coronavirus y Hasta que el obispo Flores lo apruebe, no habrá presentaciones en persona de ’Protegiendo a los Niños de Dios’ o ‘Manteniendo Viva La Promesa.’  Hasta que se reanude el CCD, no se brindarán lecciones de ‘Seguridad al tocar.’ Esto se aplica a los requisitos de actualización de 5 años o la capacitación inicial que se requiere para ministrar a menores.

As the Catholic faithful of the Valley, we share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church. Each of us is called to celebrate, promote, and when necessary to defend the life and dignity of every person. This awesome responsibility demands that we treat everyone with respect, do what we can to see that harm is never brought to others, especially minors and vulnerable adults, and seek to bring healing for those who have been harmed.

To help achieve these ends, the Diocese of Brownsville has taken the following steps:

  • Appointed an Assistance Coordinator to offer immediate assistance to victims.
  • Adopted new Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in  Ministry.
  • Introduced a nationally recognized safe environment program of education and prevention of child sexual abuse called Protecting God’s Children.
  • Established a policy requiring criminal background checks of all clergy and religious, of all church employees, and of all volunteers who have regular contact with minors or vulnerable adults.

The Diocese of Brownsville continues in its long-standing positive and proactive approach to this sensitive issue. Sexual abuse of children is not tolerated and timely responses are made to all allegations of violations of sexual boundaries.

Walter Lukaszek
Victims Assistance/Safe Environment Coordinator
P. (956) 784-5066
Email

Office Location

San Juan Pastoral Center
700 Virgen de San Juan
San Juan, Texas 78589-3030

CHILDREN TRAINED

CHILDREN

Children trained to keep themselves safe in 2018

VOLUNTEERS

VOLUNTEERS

Working with children and minors

FACILITATORS

FACILITATORS

Number of facilitators training adults every year

How to Report Suspected Misconduct

By state law, anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a minor must report it to local law enforcement officials and/or to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

Suspected misconduct with minors by any lay person should also be reported to the pastor of the parish, the principal of the school, or the head of the Catholic institution in question.

Suspected misconduct with minors by a priest, deacon, or religious should also be reported directly to:

  • Bishop Mario A. Avilés CO, Vicar General, (956) 784-5010
  • Mr. Walter Lukaszek, Assistance Coordinator, (956) 457-0010, Email
  • Sr. Norma Pimentel, Director of Social Services, (956) 702-4088, Email

To submit suspected misconduct you can use the form Confidential Notice of Concern;  this form can also be obtained from the local pastor, school principal, institution head, or diocese.

Letters to the Vicar General should be sent to:

San Juan Pastoral Center
Vicar General
700 Virgen de San Juan
San Juan, Texas 78589-3030

Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (reportbishopabuse.org or (800) 276-1562) has been established to receive reports of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops and to relay those reports to proper Church authorities for investigation. Where a report includes a crime, such as the sexual abuse of a minor, it will also be reported to civil authorities. Otherwise, reports will be kept confidential.

This service is intended only for the reporting of sexual abuse by a current or former bishop. Other concerns or complaints about a bishop can be expressed directly to the Diocese of Brownsville by using our Contact page.

If you have any other kind of complaint about a bishop — such as parish assignments, church closings or homily contents — please address those directly to the Diocese.

 

Servicio de Denuncia de Abusos de Obispos Católicos

El Servicio de Reporte de Abuso de Obispos Católicos, (reportbishopabuse.org ó (800) 276-1562) se ha establecido para recibir informes de abuso sexual y mala conducta relacionada por parte de los obispos, y para transmitir esos informes a las autoridades de la Iglesia correspondientes para su investigación. Cuando un informe incluye un delito, como el abuso sexual de un menor, también se informará a las autoridades civiles. De lo contrario, los informes se mantendrán confidenciales.

Este servicio está destinado únicamente a la denuncia de abuso sexual por parte de un obispo actual o anterior. Otras inquietudes o quejas sobre un obispo se pueden expresar directamente al la diócesis utilizando nuestra página de contacto.

Si tiene algún otro tipo de queja sobre un obispo, como las asignaciones parroquiales, el cierre de iglesias o el contenido de la homilía, diríjase directamente a la Diócesis.

Review Board for the Protection of God’s People

The Review Board for the Protection of God’s People serves as a confidential body to advise the Bishop in matters of policy, prevention of misconduct, and on responses to allegations of misconduct.

Once a person has indicated to the Diocese that they experienced clergy sexual abuse as a minor, the assistance coordinator contacts the person to listen and begin the healing process and assists them to contact those in the Diocese and community who can help them.

Confidentiality: Mr. Lukaszek abides by the Code of Ethics for Social Workers & the Diocese of Brownsville.

Biographical details: Mr. Lukaszek is married 46 years, father of one son, 27 years with Child Protective Services, included in the 43 years of public service, Introduced the VIRTUS program, a nationally recognized safe environment program of education and prevention of child sexual abuse: “Protecting God’s Children,” “Keeping the Promise Alive,” and “Touching Safety.”
Lay minister in Donna since 1980.

Policies

The Diocese has recently updated its policies for clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers in this area. The policies are now known as "Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in Ministry", and include norms of conduct, preventive measures, directions for the reporting of suspicious behavior or for making sexual abuse allegations, investigative procedures, and disciplinary steps to be taken as is appropriate.

Each of us is called to celebrate, promote, and when necessary to defend the life and dignity of every person.

- Safety Awareness Program

Protecting God's Children ®

Teaching Safety – Empowering God's Children

Lesson Plans

Quarterly Bulletin Announcement

As the Catholic faithful of the Valley, we share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church.